XSYS focuses on new tech, growth in 2023

Company reflects on a successful and challenging 2022

XSYS’ innovations cover the widest gamut from printing plates, plate imaging, and processing equipment to sleeves and adapters.

Over the past year, the central focus for XSYS has been on bringing more brilliance to the flexographic and letterpress prepress industries that it serves. While 2022 presented a turbulent and challenging climate for all businesses, XSYS continued to reinforce its position as a specialized total solutions provider with best-in-class innovations and value-adding services, the company said.

Our relentless drive to support customers with brilliant products and first-class services that provide them with high-quality printing results certainly paid off in 2022. More than 80 new equipment installations have brought plenty of success stories from across the world, despite the many challenges caused by the severe disruptions in supply chains, the rising cost of materials and energy, and the skills shortages,” said Friedrich von Rechteren, Global Commercial vice president of XSYS.

Driving innovation in flexo

According to the company, XSYS’ innovations cover the widest gamut from printing plates, plate imaging, and processing equipment to sleeves and adapters. The ThermoFlexX portfolio of platemaking equipment and solutions delivers increased automation to customers, such as the Kirk Group in Australia, who in 2022 boosted its overall operating effectiveness with the installation of a ThermoFlexX imager combined with the full Catena+ line. This end-to-end automated solution, in combination with XSYS plates, is said to drive efficiencies and reduce waste.

The XSYS offering of printing plates for all packaging segments is going from strength to strength. The nyloflex FTM Digital flexo plate, developed recently to facilitate the switch from solvent- to water-based printing, was put into production by Saint André Plastique. The French flexible packaging printer saw an opportunity to take advantage of the plate’s built-in flat-top dot technology as it moved an additional part of its production to more sustainable paper-based substrates.

Another innovation is the ThermoFlexX Woodpecker surface screening technology, which, in 2022, was extended with the Nevis edition for printing with white inks on film-based substrates. The new Woodpecker Nevis screening improves overall brilliance and helps converters save on costly white inks while speeding up the imaging process, the company said.

Sustainability mindset

XSYS used the year to reinforce its dedication to sustainability by introducing waste-saving products and services and developing more environmentally friendly solutions in collaboration with fellow suppliers. During a live webinar in December, the company was part of a group presenting greener solutions for central impression (CI) flexo operations enabled by next-generation technologies. XSYS Germany GmbH received a silver medal rating in 2022 for its sustainability performance from EcoVadis, rated in the top 10% of manufacturing facilities.

Adding value

Finding new ways to help customers in their daily lives is another fixed item on the agenda for XSYS. Several new value-adding initiatives were introduced in 2022, including the Flexo Solution Finder – a new online tool for faster troubleshooting and instant access to solutions to common issues in flexo print production. It was developed as part of the XSYS strategy to offer more flexibility and agility for customers, with less downtime and better quality.

To combat supply chain problems, XSYS implemented global solutions across its business to help customers succeed in the face of challenging market conditions. One example was in the US, where the manufacturing capabilities for rotec sleeves and adapters in Asheville were expanded, meaning customers are now benefitting from more reliable delivery of high-quality products from the full rotec range, the company says.

What’s next?

In 2023, XSYS will continue its quest to support customers locally with innovations, solutions, and services that allow them to stay ahead of the game. Over the coming months, new plates and plate processing equipment will come to market, geared towards introducing more flexibility and sustainability in flexo production while also delivering top-quality print at competitive cost levels.

Dagmar Schmidt, CEO of XSYS concluded, “First of all, I would like to thank all our customers across the globe for their trust in XSYS. The past year has proved that XSYS is a company in its own right, with solutions that are enabling customers to remain on a successful trajectory. As we kick off 2023, we look forward to launching new technologies, participating in more collaborations, and meeting the packaging community at trade shows and events. Together we can make 2023 a year of growth.”

Headquartered in Willstaett, Germany, XSYS is one of the largest global suppliers offering both flexographic and letterpress prepress solutions, including plates, sleeves, processors, workflow solutions, and expert professional services.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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